The origin of hockey in Canada has never been definitely established. Claims have been made on behalf of many localities, notably Montreal, Que., Halifax, N.S., and Kingston, Ont., but the controversy will no doubt go on as long as the sport continues.
There is no doubt that hockey has been played for a long time in Canada and individual clubs such as the Victorias of Montreal were known at an early date. Montreal also lays claim to having the first organized league of clubs.
The first organization actually dealing with the administration and development of the sport was the Ontario Hockey Association, which was organized on Nov. 27, 1890.
With the passage of the years in other parts of Canada organizations also came into existence and on Dec. 4, 1914, the first meeting to provide for a national body was held in the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Those present at the meeting decided unanimously that a national governing body for amateur hockey should be organized and thus the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) came into being.
Over the years the CAHA became a truly national governing body with other areas of Canada becoming members. The Quebec Amateur Hockey Association joined the CAHA in 1919, and in 1920 the Ottawa and District AHA also became a member. In 1928 the Maritime Association, embracing the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, was admitted to membership. Newfoundland made the Association truly Canada-wide in 1966, when the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association applied for and was welcomed into membership in the CAHA.
In 1968, New Brunswick and in 1974, Nova Scotia requested permission to withdraw from the Maritime branch and become separate members of the CAHA. These requests were granted and brought the total number of branches to 12. In 1998, the Northwest Territories Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey North) was accepted as a member setting the current number of branches as 13.
In July 1994, the Canadian Hockey Association merged with Hockey Canada, and Hockey Canada became the sole governing body for amateur hockey in Canada.